Fishing therapy success for injured squaddies
The scheme was first introduced to Britain’s biggest barracks at Catterick,
North Yorkshire, in May, with soldiers from the Mercian (Cheshire) First
Regiment, due for postings in the Helmand Province, receiving lessons
from our secretary Steve Beech. Since then, Steve has introduced the soldiers
to local waters and said the project is well on track to becoming a big success.
“I never imagined the project could have proved so popular, although I’ve
always known about the therapeutic value of coarse fishing and the added
bonus of spending time in peaceful, tranquil surroundings", he said. “Since
May, the fishing adventure has progressed considerably. Four visits
to Catterick barracks and now four visits to Winsford waters have
followed". In the last two weeks, Steve welcomed two classes of ten soldiers
at both Newpool and National Pool. Many of the soldiers visiting had been
injured by IED’s (improvised explosive devices), varying from wounded limbs,
hearing difficulties, skin grafts, shrapnel injuries and trauma.
And with the BBC cameras on site, and further interest from Radio 4 and
BBC 5 Live, Steve has managed to generate some welcome national interest.
He says “My phone hasn’t stopped ringing. Offers of help by anglers and more
funds became available from generous donators now means that more
equipment can be purchased".
Nearly 40 soldiers have so far benefited from the scheme, with more trips
planned for Winsford and two trips to Catterick lined up for the coming weeks.

Standing: Lee Davies, 21, Waine Bolger, 24,
Adam Pywell, 19 and Steve Beech
Seated: Rob Smout, 22 and Stu Mclean, 21.